Attention gentlemen! Mother’s day is next Sunday! Consider this your 1 week warning. 🙂 If you’re looking for something a bit different to get your lady (or even mom) for mother’s day, I would recommend checking out this post. There are also a few things here for the guys.
Ladies! I know what it can be like to be a Mason’s wife- you can easily have a formal dinner, a family outing, and a scotch tasting all in the same week. Not only does this add up as far as time and money, but in addition to this, we do not get the same luxury as the guys as far as being able to wear a suit, or a dress shirt and tie wherever we go. Instead we end up with a large variety of clothes, and makeup, usually in incredulous amounts, not to mention the cost really does add up faster than you might think.
Enter beauty boxes, also known as subscription services. The idea is basically the same across the board- you pay a subscription fee, from as little as $10, all the way up to $160 a month, and the company sends you goodies each month directly to your house, that you get to keep, or in some cases, the service works a bit more like Netflix for clothes. There’s a ton of services out there, but I am going to cover the top contenders in each category.
True Beauty Boxes
Arguably the first “beauty box” that really gained popularity, Birchbox offers a very no-nonsense package. $10 a month, for 4-6 beauty and “lifestyle” deluxe (read:larger) samples, delivered to your home each month. The beauty samples can range from makeup to skin care items, while the lifestyle items can be a Kind bar or tea. One of the nicer things about Birchbox is that they offer both a women’s box subscription, as well as a men’s. The men’s box contains items like manly shampoo, shaving cream, playing cards, cufflinks and lotion. The “lifestyle” items tend to be much more formal than the women’s boxes. Every box has a theme.Right now there is about a two week wait for a subscription, but in my experience, it tends to be a much shorter wait than that. Average value: $30-$50
Perhaps Birchbox’s biggest contender is Ipsy. Ipsy’s box plan is the same as Birchbox’s- you pay $10 a month, for 4-6 items, the first difference here is that Ipsy offers deluxe samples, as well as full size items. The second is Ipsy’s focus, which is much more on makeup, with some skin and hair care items. Ipsy’s bags are also themed like Birchbox, but every month, all of the makeup comes packaged in a themed cosmetic bag. There is also a waiting list for Ipsy, it does not say how long the wait is, but you can jump through some Facebook hoops or get a referral link (let me know if you want one!) to skip ahead to the front of the line. Average value: around $50
Clothing and Accessories
This one is a little pricier, but with good reason- as the name suggests, this is a subscription box for jewelry and other accessories. The price tag is a big step from the likes of Ipsy and Birchbox at $36 a month, but if you are like myself, and have a seemingly endless calendar of Masonic dinners and social gatherings, this could easily be worth every penny. The box contents range from rings and bracelets, to sunglasses and watches. The company Wantable has two other subscription services, one for makeup, and one for intimates. Average value: $100+
These two subscription services work a little differently, and both involve clothes. Stitch Fix is $20 a month, and 4-5 pieces of clothing and/or accessories are handpicked for you by a stylist.You keep what you like, and send back the rest. The $20 a month you spend is taken off of the final prices of the items you choose.
Gweenie Bee, targeted at women sizes 10+, works more like Netflix. You pay a flat fee to have a certain number of items out at a time, starting at 1 piece of clothing for $35 a month. When you’re done wearing it, or decide you don’t like it, you send it back, free shipping, just like Netflix. The difference between Gwennie Bee and Netflix is that you can buy the items you like while you have them at home!
Kind of changing gears, Plated aims to ship….dinner to your door. The only catch is that you have to cook. The monthly fee is $10 again, but every “plate” added to the meal is an additional $12. So, a plated meal for 2 would cost $34. You can also not choose to subscribe and just buy meals, which bumps the plate cost up to $15, and you must buy four. Everything comes pre-portioned with everything you need, and gives you detailed step by step instructions on how to prepare the meal. Would be absolutely wonderful for a date night in! Average value: Varies on meat cost, usually $50-$75
I’m pretty sure I need this (hint! hint!). Nerd Block is a monthly subscription box for toys, collectibles, t-shirts and other geeky things. They also send you a custom t-shirt every month that you cannot get anywhere else. They also have Nerd Block Jr, aimed at young nerdlings. The cost is a bit more here, $20 + shipping, but they are a much smaller company than all of the others. Average value: $50-$75
You can quickly see how convenient for someone who is active in the Masonic community- getting new items- makeup, jewelry, shoes, clothes, even food and toys, every month, usually at a fraction of the cost. This means you could always have something new to wear (if you’re like me, every bigger event I want to have at least one small “new” item), at every event that you attend. Sounds pretty awesome to me.
For the record- none of these companies are paying me in any way shape, or form to write this article. I just think that these subscription services really have a place in a Mason’s lady’s (or Mason’s) life, are very convenient, and seamlessly integrated. I can’t wait to try them all.